Category Archives: Cultural Oddities

Lowered Expectations

When I was pregnant with my first, I obsessively read every book on pregnancy and childbirth I could get from the library.  I mostly focused on the more “medical” books, but I also read a far amount of the schlock, as well — probably because as an expectant single mom, I felt a desire to belong that was normally absent from my psyche.

I thought that the ‘What To Expect’ books were horribly condescending and really kind of crappy to anyone who wasn’t a white, hetero, married, non-poor, etc. etc. etc.  I honestly found the book that was written by Jimmy Iovine’s wife to be more helpful and less judgmental.  Because seriously — if ANYONE ever “gave me a look” when I ordered dessert at a restaurant while pregnant, I would be across that table so fast they wouldn’t remember anything but a blur of pregnant fury.

Bloody show, indeed.

My opinion hasn’t changed much and I really haven’t read any pregnancy books since then. And aside from Hip Mama and Mothering, I’ve found most pregnancy/parenting magazines to be utterly void of anything helpful or interesting.  Nor am I the type to hang out at pregnancy websites unless I am looking for a very specific answer to a very specific question.  I’d much rather troll around GFY or io9.  I mean, I get that most of the appeal is the excitement of being pregnant and wanting to share, but I sort of feel like I’ve already done enough research and am ready to just focus on practice.

So, I exist in a pregnancy bubble.  I’ve got everything I need baby-wise.  I have bins of diapers and clothes and I’m part of a circle of ladies that have been shuttling around an ever-growing heap of maternity clothes for about 6 years now.  A quick peek down my shirt assures me I can feed the baby.  As for the rest, I generally just hope that the mechanics of pregnancy and childbirth haven’t changed too much since the last one.

Anyhow, I had an unusually long wait to be seen at Dr. YoureHavingAGiantBaby’s office yesterday.  The tv was running some weird ad/show on repeat, I’d failed to find anything interesting to read via my blackberry, and my husband had quit responding to my text messages (probably because I was mainly just updating him on how many times I’d peed).  So, I picked up a copy of some parenting magazine.

Holy shitballs, y’all.

It was about 11% “interviews” with CelebrityMoms like the wife of that dude from Creed and 89% advertisements-that-looked-like-articles for crazyass crap like this:

Yes, those are holes over the boobs.  It’s like the opposite of pasties.  But WHY?  It’s advertised as a garment to ‘hide your unsightly belly while nursing.’  They should have spun it as a garment that will ham-fistedly advise your partner that sexy times are GO.

And really, most of the ad-ticles were for utterly unnecessary and perplexing things.  Or they were for books and products that would show you how to be a skinny pregnant bitch who is a tiger in the sack and wears 4 inch heels at all times and is confused for a model.  While all the “interviews” were with women whose jobs consist of being sexy, having gobs of money, and being utterly out of touch with the way that 99% of people live.

I mean, I GET IT.  We, the pregnant polloi, are not doing it right.

When you are pregnant — especially for the first time — it’s almost like puberty all over again.  You have to get to know your new body, your new gender/sexual identity, and your news feelings — both emotional and physical.  It’s a weird and disconcerting time.  Not to mention that around the bend is an entirely new source of fear and anxiety — parenthood.

And really, the LAST thing any woman needs on top of that is to be told that she “has to be” skinny/sexy/confident/energetic/happy/taut or else she will be embarrassed/ashamed/deficient/guilty/weak.  But yet that is the capitalism of American pregnancy, isn’t it?  There is only a handful of “right” ways to be pregnant, but don’t worry, we have an infinite supply of things you can buy to get there.

Seriously, fuck off already.

Expectant mothers, please feel free to be exactly and whatever the hell kind of pregnant person and new parent you want to be.

And if that involves wearing a the tank equivalent of crotchless panties, more power to you.

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Filed under Babies: Making and Raising, Cultural Oddities, Getting to Know Me, Signs of the Apocalypse

Superbowl: A Time to Celebrate the Miracle of Snack

I’m not a sports person.  I could care less who is playing whom.  I am more aware of what is going on in the world of North Carolina goat’s milk cheeses than that of sports.  It’s not the game.  If I happen to be in a room when a game is on, I will not protest and in fact will likely be somewhat interested in what is going on.  I like it when the players go beyond merely doing their job to getting it done in an elegant and sexy way.

I’m just not a fan.  Not of any sport, any team, or any player.  I thank my stint as a cocktail waitress in a Nashville sports bar for that.  I’m happy my livelihood no longer depends on UT winning.  Aside from status updates on Facebook, I pretty much know nothing about pro football.  Or any football.  Or any ball.  And I am happy.

That said, I am dimly aware that this weekend is the Superbowl.  And while I could just as happily regrout the kitchen, I must admit that I find myself getting a tad caught up in the true spirit of the Superbowl — the Spirit of Snack.  And even though Cletus the Fetus is making it incredibly difficult to eat or breathe these days, he has not impaired my supernatural snack making abilities.  While I generally prefer “real” foods, I do make serious exceptions for special events.

For example, pigs in a blanket:

Charcuterie en Pastry

Very simple.  Use biscuit dough or class it up and use teeny sausages and strips of puff pastry.  It’s still the same thing – weenies.  A nice variety of dipping sauces and you are good to go.

Let’s not forget, the mandatory crudite platter:

Yeah, that's bacon.

You can dump a container of Helluva Good Ranch dip in a cool bowl, or you can go the extra 2 feet and make your own.  I like to use 2 cups low-fat sour cream (this is the ONLY time you will EVER see me willingly use a ‘low-fat’ dairy product. I generally believe it is blasphemy) and 3 tablespoons of Penzey’s powdered Buttermilk Ranch dressing.  And crumble some bacon on top.  Duh.

Whatever you do, it should be easy.  And there should be a lot of it.  Because no matter where you fall on the Fan Scale, you aren’t doing it right if you don’t end the day with a bunch of mysterious food stains on your team jersey.

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Filed under Cultural Oddities, Food Pr0n, Mmmmeat!, Recipes

Rerun: Why Can’t You Be More Like Kevin?

[I originally posted this on Southern Female Lawyer. Enjoy]

So, one glorious fall day a year or so ago, Mr. Hussy and I were taking a kid-free ride in the car.  There was a minivan in front of us, the rear window of which was asymmetrically decorated with those booster decals.  You know, the thing with a baseball, or a megaphone, or a flute and their kid’s name? I really don’t understand why people think these are a good idea. e.g.:

Lecher McPervypants:  ‘Hey Tyffany – your mom asked me to come and pick you up from cheerleading practice.  The Lexis broke down and she had to take it to the shop.’

Sigh. I just don’t get it. I mean, I understand that parents want to trumpet the accomplishments of their kids, but what happened to the fine tradition of the braggy holiday newsletter? I know my parents had those awful oversized booster buttons with pictures of a young Hussy doing whatever it is I did *cough* show choir *cough*, but they would have never plastered my face or my name on THEIR CAR.

Also, I don’t like how only certain activities get praised. It seems like judgment by omission. Kids are doing things WAY cooler than sports – why aren’t their parents honoring them via vehicular homage? What about a skateboard? Where is the 21 sided-die for the proud parent of a D&D kid?  An eyeliner tube to symbolize your love for emo-lovin’ Junior?  Maybe just a limp sock for your son who is in a period of self-discovery?

But I digress…

So, Mr. Hussy and I pull up alongside the decal-laden minivan.  As I noted previously, they were asymmetrically arranged, with just one decal on the left side and four or five on the right.  Which bothers me on a fundamental level.  If you are going to ‘decorate’ your vehicle, do it with an eye to the visually pleasing.

But as we get closer, I realize that there is a method to the decal madness.  On the right side, a multitude of various symbols proclaim the athletic prowess of one “Kevin.”  Young Kevin, it appears, is quite the polymath – baseball, basketball, football, track – a real year-rounder.  Contrast this with left side of the minivan, where we have but one sad lonely baseball decal for some lazy shit named Cody.  It seems Cody doesn’t try hard enough.  Cody seems to think that he only needs to get off his ass one season a year.

Well, we finally pass the minivan and I can see it is being driven by an older female – Mom.  Mom is in the process of vigorously chastising the scowling and slouching sluggard in the passenger seat.  And I don’t blame her, as I know instantly that this is Cody – I can tell by the smirk on his face. I don’t need to hear them to know that Cody has been pulling the same old routine, slacking off, playing video games when he should be studying, talking to that slutty Tyffany at all hours of the night.  Well, I don’t know about his Mom, but I have had about enough of this – Cody needs to get his shit together and soon.  Doesn’t he realize how much his Mom worries about him?  Can’t he see how he is tearing this family apart?

Cody, you bastard, why can’t you be more like Kevin?

KEVIN!!!

 

 

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Filed under Cultural Oddities, Parenting is FUN!, Signs of the Apocalypse